For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-09-research
Around the middle of each month we post a quick roundup of some recent academic publications and news about homeschooling, offered for your interest. These are typically university research papers, and they may have a positive, negative, or neutral outlook on home education — and if they don’t seem appealing, just scroll on by. The title links generally point to the full text of each publication (often a pdf file). (Facebook readers should click to the attached blog post to find these links live.) The abstracts are quoted in full when possible, without editing.
The first item this month is the introduction to a notable series of papers devoted to homeschooling in a special issue of The Peabody Journal of Education (Volume 94.3, July 2019):
(1) New Frontiers in Research and Practice on Homeschooling — A. Cheng & M. Donnelly (2019)
Introduction: In 2000 and 2013, The Peabody Journal of Education published issues about homeschooling, providing a platform to deliberate on what was in 2000 a burgeoning movement in the United States and has now become a population estimated by the National Center on Education Statistics (NCES) to number between 3% to 4% of the school-age population (Snyder, de Brey, & Dillow, 2018).
There are also indications that home education is a growing global phenomenon. The recent Wiley Handbook of Home Education devoted an entire section to homeschooling practice worldwide (Gaither, 2017). Moreover, in the past 6 years three global conferences have been held on the subject, the most recent of which was held in Russia with over 1,000 participants. The conference included a research track yielding dozens of papers, several of which are included in this issue. Holding a conference about home education in Russia is itself an intriguing occurrence worthy of consideration in the context of geopolitical happenings. Since then, a new organization called the Global Home Education Exchange Counsel has formed (www.ghex.world) with a mission that includes supporting more and diverse research on home education.
In the 2000 and 2013 issues on homeschooling in this journal, supporters and critics alike drew upon political philosophy and legal thought to make normative arguments about the legitimacy of homeschooling or to debate how homeschooling and the policy environments under which the practice was regulated and exercised could benefit or harm not only individual students but also collective aspects of civic life. Researchers reviewed the literature to evaluate claims of the efficacy of homeschooling on academic achievement, postsecondary preparation, and socialization. The issue also explored the impact of home education on the education profession and education research. […]
The following collection of articles highlights the change that homeschooling practice and research has undergone. It features unique populations of homeschoolers and the way they practice homeschooling. Although there is still much more room for improvement, it is often helpful to pause and take stock of how the field has progressed over time.
[Seven separate papers are included in the issue; they are not individually abstracted here.]
Abstract: The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the influence of a K–12 home education on the academic, familial, spiritual, and vocational aspects of the adult lives of select four-year college graduates. Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory framed this study, as it purports that learning and development occur in the symbiotic relationship between learner and environment. Central research question:How do select four-year college graduates describe the influence of a K–12 home education on their adult lives? Sub-questions: (a) How do participants describe the impact of a K–12 home education on their experiences in higher education? (b) How do participants describe the impact of a K–12 home education on their relationships with their parents? (c) How do participants describe the impact of a K–12 home education on their spiritual journey? (d) How do participants describe the impact of a K–12 home education on their vocational choice? Fourteen participants were selected via purposeful, snowball sampling, and data collection was triangulated via personal interviews, focus groups, and document analysis. Data were analyzed utilizing Moustakas’s modified Stevick–Colaizzi–Keen approach to transcendental phenomenology. Research question responses indicated that (a) participants felt prepared for college because of critical thinking skills as well as experience in dual enrollment, co-ops, and outside classes, (b) the greatest challenges in college were balancing a heavy course load and navigating new social dynamics/venues, (c) most participants had close relationships with their parents, (d) homeschooling helped lay a strong faith foundation, and participants’ faith was similar to their parents’, and (e) there was a connection between homeschooling experiences and vocational choice.
Abstract: This study examined the relationship between trait emotional intelligence (TEI) and feelings of social isolation in children that homeschool in rural and remote areas of Alaska. The topic of social isolation has continued to be prominent in the homeschool research. Tenuous claims resulting from studies that lack methodological rigor and representative sample sizes have perpetuated the debate by producing disparate conclusions with inherent limitations. This study acknowledged, that given a particular set of circumstances, the likelihood that an individual will experience feelings of social isolation increases. The compounding of conditions such as geographic isolation, time spent without access to a peer group, and extremes in seasonal conditions, contribute to a reasonable concern about the susceptibility to feelings of social isolation for homeschoolers in rural and remote areas of the state. The purpose of this study was to add to the homeschooling research by investigating the relationship between TEI, as measured by the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire-Children’s Short Form (TEIQue-CSF), and feelings of social isolation, as measured by the Children’s Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Scale, in a distinct population with practical application. This study found a statistically significant relationship between the variables, which should compel a change of focus from the unproductive social isolation debate, toward a more useful exploration of potential measures to prevent, mitigate, or alleviate feelings of social isolation and the associated harmful effects.
(4) Effective Home School Programming for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder — G. Mckeithan, A. Mendoza, & D.E. Griswold (2019)
Abstract: Many parents and/or caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are frustrated with services offered and/or provided through the public school setting. The services for children with ASD may be limited because teachers may not be adequately prepared to meet the needs of the increasing number of students being identified with ASD, and/or because students with ASD may not respond to traditional methods of instruction. Some parents of children with ASD are concerned with educational programming available through public school systems because they may believe public schools are unable and/or unwilling to develop and implement effective programming. Thus, the decision to remove these children from public school and provide services through home schools has become increasingly more prevalent as parent educators can provide more individualized and structured routines and curriculum options. This article provides an overview some guidelines/suggestions for developing effective home school programming that can help parents of children with ASD reflect on and/or revise current homeschool instructional strategies in conjunction with evidence-based practices. In sharing the information, we hope to help others work collaboratively to improve the academic and social learning outcomes for homeschooled children with ASD.
(5) The Changing Landscape of Homeschooling in the United States — A. Hirsh (2019)
Abstract: Educating children at home is a growing practice in the United States: the homeschool movement—frequently left out of the conversation about education—has much to teach us about creating more customized and effective school systems aimed at producing better outcomes for students. Homeschool families are hyper-autonomous units with tremendous freedom to create curriculum, redesign typical learning pathways, and build innovative partnerships.
Homeschooling is not a monolith and it is not static. These diverse homeschooling families are taking several innovative approaches to redesigning education—forming partnerships with districts, organizing themselves into collaboratives, and finding ways to promote equity.
Homeschooling has been legal in every state since the 1990s. While only 3 percent of K–12 students in the United States are homeschooled, this percentage has grown since 1999 and shows signs of continuing to increase. Homeschooling impacts the lives of millions of children and yet is understudied compared to other sectors of U.S. education.
This brief describes the state of homeschooling in the U.S. in 2019. Section I explores the changing demographics of homeschoolers. Section II gives an overview of new forms of homeschooling, including hybrid models. Section III outlines the variety of state policies that govern homeschooling.
What interesting homeschool news and research have you come across lately? 👩🏻🎓
❡ Explore more: If you’d like to investigate the academic literature on homeschooling, the best place to start is Google Scholar (scholar.google.com), the special academic search engine from Google. Just enter a search term or phrase of interest (“homeschool,” “unschooling,” “classical homeschooling,” “deschooling,” etc.), and Google Scholar will return a list of academic publications that mention your topic. 🔎
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